Name announcement: Baby Borobia!

As I posted the other day, Dwija’s water broke the other day at 32 weeks, but as she blogged yesterday, the baby’s fine and still in utero, and Dwija’s in the hospital for the next two to three weeks (at least?) to give her baby more time. Thank God!

It was also important to Dwija that everyone be able to pray for the baby by name, and so they’ve announced: Helen Margaret! Or rather, “Miss Helen Margaret Borobia (nicknames Nellie, Kitty, Flufferbutt. When you have 6 older siblings, you get nicknames FAST).” 😀

Please continue to pray for Mama Dwija and the beautifully named Baby Helen!

Three things to pray for

You guys, our dear Dwija’s in the hospital as her water broke yesterday at 32 weeks. Please pray for her and her wee little girl! And the rest of the family!

Secondly, I know you’ve all heard about the sweet, brave Missionaries of Charity who were handcuffed and shot in Yemen. Stories and pictures about them were being tagged yesterday on FB and Twitter and IG with #TheseSistersHaveNames, which is so appropriate — we know the power of names and their humanizing effect. Knowing their names helps us never forget them. Sr. Anselm, Sr. Reginette, Sr. Marguerite/Margherite (I’ve seen both), and Sr. Judith (a new and wonderful patron for any Judiths!), please pray for us and for the whole world. ❤

This is the prayer the Missionaries of Charity pray “after their morning Mass and before breakfast, the prayer is one of the last that the sisters would have prayed before being killed”:

Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward.”

A friend sent this prayer to me yesterday as appropriate for my third intention: though it certainly pales in comparison to the kinds of suffering the Missionaries of Charity see and tend to, and to actual martyrdom for one’s faith, there’s a stomach bug that won’t leave my house, and I know a lot of you are dealing with it too (I hope you’re all feeling better Jen!). My #4, who I thought was on the upswing after spending the entire day throwing up two days ago did so again last night. It’s everywhere. My task for this morning is to clean it up (I was too tired last night). Please pray for my little boys (four out of the six have now had it … I’m waiting for the other two, and please God not myself [my husband doesn’t get stomach bugs, such a weirdo]) and for me and for all the parents and little ones dealing with the the stomach bug right now. I seriously think someone needs to start an Order of Sisters whose mission is to care for families with the stomach bug. Great personal risk? Check. Ostracization? Check. Suffering and sickness? Check, check, checkity check. If anyone has any daughters who want to start a new Order when they grow up, maybe whisper this idea in their ears. (I truly hope this doesn’t come across as insensitive in the face of the lost Sisters of Yemen. It’s because of their wonderful work and love and care that I immediately thought of Sisters when I was in the throes of cleaning and disinfecting our house over the last few days — they do such wonderful, important work, in big ways and small. Thank God for Sisters.)

Baby name consultant: Baby Borobia Take 2!

What feels like waaaay back, in November, before Thanksgiving even, I posted a name consultation for Dwija’s eighth baby with some fun ideas for both boys and girls.

Since then, she and her husband have found out their wee one is a little lady baby! And when I saw on her IG post announcing the news in January that they were still in the *THROES* of trying to agree on a girl’s name, despite the previous solid frontrunner of Helen, I asked if I could take another shot, and, gracious as always, she said have at it!, so I’ve come up with five more ideas for Baby Borobia #8.

First though, about Helen, Dwija says,

I guess there is no really good reason that Helen isn’t the front runner for some people ( 😉 ) anymore except that I guess none of the convos we had before the ultrasound “counted.” Lol! Which is why we always find out gender- we have a terrible time agreeing on names, clearly. Tommy says he feels like Helen is a fine name but that it doesn “go” with what we have so far and it’s just not his favorite. We love the name Margaret, but we have a niece named Margaret already and another one named Maggie, so basically we would be the third of his siblings to use the name or a variation and that might be a little much, you know? We also like Carolyn after my MIL, but that breaks the no repeat first initial rule (as does Margaret!) and it is very similar in spelling and sound to Kathryn so it might be a little awkward. Genevieve is an option that has not been struck down (that is about as good as it gets at this stage!) and the kids who really wanted Gabriel for a boy are campaigning for Gabrielle or Gabriella for a girl now, but then if we have another boy in the future, we won’t be able to use it! You see the puzzling puzzle-ness? Whew! Hope all that is a teeny bit helpful maybe? Thanks so much for letting me play along again

So my thoughts, worth only a couple of pennies as always, are:

Helen is great, still. I won’t be at all surprised if it’s the name they end up with. I know from the last consultation that Dwija and the big girls were swoony over the nickname Nellie, which seriously is so sweet. As for it not going with what they’ve done so far, it kind of cracked me up when I looked up their beloved Margaret in my trusty Baby Name Wizard book and saw its girl style matches are Catherine, Helen, Mary, Eleanor, Cecilia, and Martha. Boy matches included Charles and Paul. If you remember, they already have a Kathryn, Mary, Elizabeth (similar to Eleanor with the El-), Cecilia, [John] Charles, and Paul. So yeah, Helen fits.

On to Margaret: I can see why they feel weird about using Margaret after two of their nieces have been so named. And that darn repeated initial! But the fact that Dwija and her hubs are still talking about it tells me they reeeaalllyy love it. And clearly, as noted in the previous paragraph, it’s an insanely good fit style-wise. One solution (which doesn’t fix the repeating-initial thing, but might help with the cousins-named-a-form-of-Margaret thing) is to name her Margaret but use a different nickname than Maggie—that way when all three cousins are together, none are called the same thing. My particular favorite recently, and one which gets away from the M initial, is Daisy. I also love Daisy with Katie, Lizzie, Ceci, and Mary—I think it totally fits! Other variants and diminutives that can be used as a nickname include Greta, Rita, and Maisie (though there’s that darn M again). I also have another idea for incorporating Margaret, which I’ll discuss more below.

Regarding Carolyn, it’s a lovely name and a lovely tribute to T’s mom. It’s very similar in sound and appearance to Kathryn, but since she goes by Katie I don’t think it has to be a huge deal. The spelling could be changed to Caroline to help with spelling/appearance, but then that might move it far enough away from Carolyn that it loses its appeal. Another important consideration is that Carolyn is one of the feminine forms of Charles, which the Borobias have already used in their little John Charles (who goes by Charlie). Ma and Pa Ingalls didn’t mind being Charles and Caroline when they got married (and babies Charles and Carrie too!), but it is the kind of thing namiacs would notice (if one should be worried about such things).

Genevieve is beautiful and another favorite of mine. I have no complaints! One could argue that it’s even less like what they’ve done so far with their other kids than Helen, but it’s saintly and classic, which is their basic style. (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—one of the very best things about Catholic naming is that there are so many names of all ethnic backgrounds and degrees of unusualness and yet they all “go together” because of the Church—just put your Catholic glasses on and you’ll see! 😀 )

Gabrielle/Gabriella now at the expense of a possible Gabriel later is a real dilemma! I addressed it in this post, and I really liked the way one of the commenters put it: “Which one would you be sadder not to use?” My sense is that Dwija and Tommy really like Gabriel, and would be pretty bummed if they had a boy in the future and couldn’t use it because they’d already used a female variant. I also don’t get the feeling they love Gabrielle/Gabriella nearly as much as Gabriel. I could totally be wrong! It’s a good conversation for them to have. (This post on name regret might also be helpful.)

Okay! So I came up with a few new ideas. First though, let me remind you of the Borobia Baby Naming Rules:

T [hubs] does NOT like William because of William of Orange (true story. This is what I mean about all our weird rules!)

More rules include:
Must be a saint name but not a quirky one (no Scholastica or Cosmas, etc.)
Must exist somewhere in one of our families (you won’t be able to know this, but that’s okay)
Cannot start with a letter we’ve already used.
Cannot start with a B
Initials can’t make a potentially embarrassing word (MIB made it through because I don’t think her friends are going to know anything about Men in Black. Are you starting to see how crazy I am???)

And their other kiddos’ names:

Kathryn Marisol (Katie)
Elizabeth Anne (Lizzie)
Paul Anthony
Cecilia Jean (Ceci)
Mary Isabel
Nicholas Robert (home with Jesus)
John Charles (Charlie)

And the names I suggested in my last post:

(1) Ruth, Rita, Rose/Rosa
(2) Hildi
(3) Alice
(4) Frances

I think I was a little too focused on Helen-type names in my previous suggestions, so I branched out a bit, looking for suggestions that might not be as perfect on paper but just *seem* like good ideas, and came up with:

(1) Sarah-Margaret (or others?)
I really hate when there’s a name both parents love but for whatever reason they don’t feel like they can use it—we all know how hard it can be to come to an agreement on a name! And to have other interfering factors can be so frustrating. So I love to try to come up with ideas of how that name can still work somehow. Sarah was listed in the Baby Name Wizard as a style match for Kathryn, Elizabeth, Nicholas, and John, and when I saw it—given that Margaret was heavily on my mind—I immediately remembered that actress Andie MacDowell has a daughter named Sarah Margaret who actually goes by Margaret. I love the full Sarah-Margaret (I’d probably hyphenate if it was me, but certainly not necessary), and the traditional Sarah nickname of Sadie, but Sarah Margaret called Margaret (or Maggie or other Margaret nick) takes it all one step away from the nieces Margaret and Maggie, even if only “technically.” You know?

But if they didn’t like the idea of Sarah Margaret, but did like the idea of a double first name, I also love Sarah Clare, Sarah Louise, and Sarah T(h)eresa/Sarah Tess (I know the two latter aren’t necessary to avoid repeating initials, since they haven’t use L or T yet, but how sweet are Sarah Lou and Sarah Tess?!). (Sarah’s a great name for double-naming—Harry Connick Jr. has a Sarah Kate, which I’d totally suggest if they didn’t already have Kathryn.)

(2) Lucy or Louisa (nicked Lulu)
Speaking of not having used L yet, what about Lucy? It totally fits in with sisters Katie, Lizzy, Ceci, and Mary in my opinion, and how amazing does Lucy Carolyn sound together??

Lucy, and the idea above of Sarah Louise, also made me think of Louisa. It’s so lovely and Little Women on its own, and I’ve long thought Lucy would made such a natural nickname for it, so Louisa nicked Lucy allows for two great names in one! Or Louisa nicked Lulu? I love Lulu, and it seems a lot like Helen/Nell(ie) to me.

(3) Felicity
So I wrote down all the letters of the alphabet that were still okay to use, and tried to think of names for each one (without thinking so much of the other kiddos’ names) and F was all Felicity to me—and that was before I realized today’s her feast day! Felicity’s such a pretty name and has some shared sounds with Marisol, Elizabeth, Cecilia, and Isabel, so I think there’s a pretty good chance Dwija and her hubs will like it. There are some fun nickname options like Filly and Flick(a), which a horse-loving girl might love (My Friend Flicka!), and someone on the blog suggested Lily a while ago, which I thought was brilliant (but I can’t find that comment! Gah!). A search online yields Fi/Fee, Felly, Lucky, Tilly, and Floss(y)—Floss and Flossy are so delightfully old fashioned! (I’d probably just stay away from Flissy, Lissy, Liddy, and Cici because of their similarities to Lizzie and Ceci.) AND – so weird! – in my search I found a mom who had a daughter Felicity and her final two choices for her second daughter were Helen and Harriett!

(4) Victoria or Veronica
I actually had scribbled down Veronica when I was doing my alphabet exercise—Veronica all of a sudden seemed like a name they would like! I think of it as sort of similar to Genevieve, because of the strong V and the common nickname options Vee or Vivi. I love how Catholicky Catholic it is too.

But then Victoria showed itself to be a style match for Elizabeth, Nicholas, and Genevieve, so I thought that was intriguing! It could also take the nicknames Vee or Vivi along with the more familiar Vicky and Tori, and I hope Charlotte doesn’t mind if I point out her amazing idea of Cora as a nickname for Victoria! I love the idea of Victoria for Our Lady of Victory, and Cora for the Immaculate Heart of Mary—what a lovely Marian option!

(5) Agnes nicked Aggie
Finally, one more Helen-type name. Agnes has been on my radar a bit recently—I loved when actress Elisabeth Shue named her daughter Agnes Charles several years ago, what a cool way to mix up an otherwise pretty old-fashioned name! And the nickname Aggie is so amazing, and so like Maggie, that I thought it might be a good substitute for Margaret.

And those are my new ideas for Baby Girl Borobia! What do you all think? What else can you suggest that hasn’t already been suggested and that follows all the rules?

Baby name consultant: Baby Borobia #8

I think of Dwija Borobia of House Unseen. Life Unscripted. as a mix of who and how I’d love to be and also holy cow I just don’t think I could ever do it. By “who and how I’d like to be” I mean: someone who gave up all they knew and were familiar with for Jesus. And Mary. And NFP and all that that entails (awesome post btw). And the whole rest of the Catholic life and catechism that makes absolutely zero sense to everyone else. (I’ve never had to make that choice, not really — this life and faith was mine by birth and I’m eternally grateful, but I’m always always so moved by those who have made such brave decisions and I just always hope and pray I’d be so strong if ever faced with a similar situation.)

By “holy cow I just don’t think I could ever do it” I mean this, from her About Me page, which is too hilarious and *her* for me not to just post it:

This blog started a little bit by accident as a way to share our misadventures in fixing up our fixer-upper that we bought sight unseen off the internet. Because when your in-laws (and this is an important tip) read a facebook update about you finding snakes in your kitchen walls, you’ll be all “Hahahaha! Isn’t that wacky?” and they’ll be all “Ohsweetbabyjeezus, my grandchildren are going to get eaten by wild boars! Or snakes! As it were!”

So you start a blog so everyone can get the whole story and they don’t imagine a shanty and an outhouse and then start praying novenas to the patron saint of People Getting Some Sense Knocked into Them.”

(Hm. Well, maybe when I say “I just don’t think I could ever do it” what I mean is that I like and thrive on familiar and stable and risk taking is not really part of my wiring … BUT, speaking of wiring, I love love love a good house renovation. And so yes, I’ve drooled (and taken notes) over these before and after pics a time or two. So I think maybe it’s the “Life Unscripted” part I’d have the most trouble with, not the “House Unseen” part. Also the snakes in the walls.)

ANYWAY we aren’t here today to talk about house renos, as fun and fab as they are … as you’ve come to expect, we are here to talk about BABY NAMES because Dwija’s expecting her eighth baby and there’s NO STOPPING my excitement when there’s a baby on the way! ESPECIALLY when that wee one needs a name! Dwija has graciously allowed me to offer some ideas, and I’m so excited to do so, even though she and her husband have done an amazing job with their others so letting me do this is probably more charity than necessity on their part. They have, in order:

Kathryn Marisol (Katie)
Elizabeth Anne (Lizzie)
Paul Anthony
Cecilia Jean (Ceci)
Mary Isabel
Nicholas Robert (home with Jesus)
John Charles (Charlie, but I love love seeing #dailyjohncharles on IG — what a great first-middle combo that is!)

Beautiful, right? Classic, saintly, solid.

For this baby, if a girl, Dwija says,

Right now we have one girl name on the list: Helen (no middle name) and zero boy names … [Also] Teresa, Monica…pretty much I’ve decided on Helen for a first name though if it’s a girl to be honest. We are just undecided on a middle name. BUT if you have some other first name ideas, I’d love to hear them! … Oh, I like Margaret too!

And for a little Mister,

We are running low on ideas actually, especially for boy names that we both like and that fit all the ridiculous rules we’ve created 😉 … [seriously,].zero boy names. Hah! We’ve talked about some that are not on the “no way” list- Martin, Dominic, Gabriel.”

Wait! Did she say something about “ridiculous rules”??? Yesssss!!!! I just love rules, no joke—a good name challenge is the best! They are:

T [hubs] does NOT like William because of William of Orange (true story. This is what I mean about all our weird rules!)

More rules include:
Must be a saint name but not a quirky one (no Scholastica or Cosmas, etc.)

Must exist somewhere in one of our families (you won’t be able to know this, but that’s okay)

Cannot start with a letter we’ve already used.

Cannot start with a B

Initials can’t make a potentially embarrassing word (MIB made it through because I don’t think her friends are going to know anything about Men in Black. Are you starting to see how crazy I am???)

So I clapped my hands and rubbed them together gleefully and got my cup of coffee and my Baby Name Wizard and my thousands of other name books and went digging around in my mental archives of saints and names and came up with what I think are some pretty great options. They fit all The Rules as far as they can — I just don’t know, as Dwija pointed out, if they fit the “family name” req or of course the always subjective and not always entirely predictable do-I-like-it-or-don’t-I test. (Also, regarding those rules, I just have to say — preeetty sneaky getting a Ceci and Charlie in the same family when one of The Rules is no repeating first initials — just tack a John on the front of that Charles and you’re good to go! Brilliant!)

First though, just some quick thoughts about the names on their current list:

I love Helen. Beautiful name, beautiful saint, great for a sister of the Borobia children. Dwija didn’t ask for middle name ideas, but Helen Sophia was striking me as a really gorgeous combo.

Teresa, Monica, and Margaret are great options too, and gave me a really good idea of their taste and style, BUT — Monica and Margaret repeat Mary’s M, so they’re out! Maybe as middles?

Martin, Dominic, and Gabriel are awesome — some of my very favorites. But Martin’s an M name, so I did use it for inspiration, but I don’t consider it a real contender for them. Dominic and Gabriel seem to be going in just a little bit of a different direction than what they’ve done so far — they both seem a touch more exotic, perhaps — but they are great names and great saints, so I have no real quibble at all. (Although, now that I think about it … perhaps a quick look at my Gabriel B. post would be wise? It’s always good to have all the information.)

Okay! Here are my ideas/suggestions:

Girl
(1) Ruth, Rita, Rose/Rosa
So when you have seven other children, all with first and middle names, plus a list of names that you’ve decided you don’t hate, there are a LOT of names to work with. It makes finding patterns in the Baby Name Wizard a bit more challenging, but also a lot of fun and really satisfying. Ruth, Rita, and Rose/Rosa revealed themselves as style matches for the Borobias, and they all fit the rules so well. I’ve grouped them together because they all begin with R and they’re all four letters, but they each have their own merits. And as long as they don’t use Ursula as the middle, I think the possibility of potentially embarrassing initials is low.

Ruth is, of course, Ruth from the bible, also known as Ruth the Matriarch (and yes the Old Testament holy ones are considered saints). Ruth is one of the very best women in my opinion, for her love of her husband and her mother-in-law, never mind that she was one of the only women named in the genealogy of Jesus. I’ve been seriously crushing on Ruth recently, mostly because of Ruthie. So sweet!

Rita I’m kind of excited about for Dwija and her hubs because they like Margaret but Margaret repeats the M of Mary, which violates one of The Rules. But Rita can be considered a form of Margaret! It’s a short form via variants like Margarita, which makes it a St. Margaret name, and St. Rita is also an awesomely amazing saint in her own right (I’m privy to some amazing intercessory action on her part — great namesake for a little girl).

Rose was actually one of the first names I thought of when I was musing over the list of the already born Borobia children, such a lovely, simple name! St. Rose of Lima’s one of my faves, and it can also be a Marian name. Rosa is a great variant too, and adds an extra syllable if one syllable is considered too short, and Rosie is another of those darling nicknames.

(2) Hildi
I’ve been pushing Hildi on lots of people recently! Haha! St. Hildegard of Bingen, new Doctor of the Church, is the inspiration here. Hildegard still feels a little … much, to me, for most people, but I’m swoony over Hildi! I definitely think it can stand on its own as a first name, but Hilde and Hilda are variants that can work too. I don’t think Hildi/Hilde/Hilda would qualify as the disallowed “quirky,” but I admit I’m not 100% sure … (it also knocks Helen out for potential future use because of the H).

(3) Alice
I actually didn’t know that Alice was a saint’s name until doing this consultation. It seemed such a great fit for this family, but of course I had to make sure it was a saint’s name, and lo — there’s more than one! (Don’t be put off by the fact that none of those are listed as St. Alice — if you click on their names you’ll see they’re also known as Alice.)

(4) Frances
Lastly, Frances, fairly uncommon for a first name for a girl as far as I can tell, though Francis is all over the Catholic name stats for boys. Frannie and Frankie are sweet nicknames, and the full Frances is serious and bookish in all the best ways. Frances can be a nod to any of the Sts. Francis, but of course there are loads of female namesakes.

Boy
(1) Andrew, Thomas, Luke
Here are my New Testament Boys suggestions, chosen as much for the fact that they don’t repeat initials already used as for being a good fit with the first names Dwija and her hubs have already used for their boys: Paul, Nicholas, and John. I love each of these names for different reasons.

Andrew seems a really handsome, friendly name to me, and Andy and Drew are both really cheerful nicknames. I also had the privilege of hearing Fr. Andrew Apostoli speak this past weekend, and he referred to Andrew as his patron saint, which of course is obvious, but it made me sit up and take notice of Andrew a little bit more.

Thomas is great as the full Thomas, and even better — I assume Mr. Borobia is Thomas since he’s referred to as Tommy on the blog, so it’s a family name and even a Junior if so desired! Or, I know a grown-up Thomas who has initials TAB and goes by Tab — this could also be a possibility. I realize that Dad being Thomas could also work against this idea, and though I assumed the no-repeating-first-initials thing only applied to the kids, I realize it might also encompass D and T because of Mom and Dad.

And Luke — I’ve always loved that Luke’s gospel is considered the most Marian — it mentions Mary more than any of the others; it’s the one which the prayer the Magnificat comes from; and it presents Jesus’ genealogy that some believe goes through Mary rather than Joseph. So Luke can really be considered a Marian name for a boy, which I think is incredibly cool.

(2) Stephen, David
Okay so yes, I know, Stephen is a New Testament name, but I’m grouping it here with the Old Testament David because I know a couple of Stephen & David brother pairs, both older men in my own family and boys in my boys’ school, so they just seem like they go together, peas-and-carrots. Both names are those of beloveds in my family (we have Stephens and Davids that are not brothers as well as those that are), and each name projects a sense of the regal to me, probably because they’re both king’s names as well as saint’s names.

St. Stephen was the first martyr, which is a pretty great credential (and if Dwija and Mr. like the idea of Stephen, I’ve been digging the first-middle combo that Danielle Bean and her husband used: Stephen Matthias). St. Stephen of Hungary was a king, and also known as St. Stephen the Great. I love that! There were also a few Pope Stephens. It’s got some major Catholic cred.

David is King David, of course. I mean, come on. King David. There’s also a bunch of Sts. David too. (But D-Dwija and D-David?)

(3) William
Just kidding. 😀

(4) Henry
I suggested Hildi above and I’m suggesting Henry here and Dwija already said they’re mostly likely settled on Helen so maybe H isn’t the right direction for me to go, but I really love Henry. It’s a sweet name for a boy without being unmasculine, and I think Henry brings out my (admittedly fairly small but existing) contrarian streak because I really hate that some people say, “Henry is too Protestant.” This is totally one of those names that needs to be reclaimed because there are lots of holy Henrys! (And Hank’s a traditional nickname for Henry, and it’s been killing me with cuteness recently, can’t you picture a tiny Hank?!)

(5) Victor, Gregory
This is my Pope category. Victor is a papal name, and also a saint name (besides Pope Bl. Victor III), but my favorite way to think of it is as a Jesus name. We talk a lot about Marian names, but I haven’t heard much about Jesus names, and Victor can totally be considered one, because, as I told a mom in a consultation just recently, He wins! Victor! Victory!

Gregory is one of the Pope St. the Greats, and, as I’ve quoted here before, the Baby Name Wizard says, “Popes, saints, and Gregory Peck! Can a name get any more distinguished?”” I love that! “Greg” tends to be the problem with Gregory, if people have a problem with Gregory, but I’ve suggested both Rory and Gus (perhaps for Gregory Stephen?) as possible avoiding-Greg nicknames. I’m guessing Rory Borobia isn’t going to be a big hit, but Gus Borobia is suuuuper cute. 🙂

And those are my ideas! What do you all think? Do you think they’re hitting the right notes, or totally off key? What would you suggest for the new Borobia baby? (Remember the rules! Must not repeat initials, must not suggest B names, must not suggest quirky saints’ names, and absolutely no William!)